Announcing the Publication of Scarlet and Black Volume 2

Message from Chancellor Christopher J. Molloy:

February 25, 2020

Dear Members of the Rutgers–New Brunswick Community:

As many of you know, the Scarlet and Black project is an exploration of Rutgers’ relationship with the history and legacies of racism affecting African Americans and the displacement of Native Americans from their land.

The project started with the 2016 publication of Scarlet and Black Volume 1: Slavery and Dispossession in Rutgers History, which traced the university’s early history of how Rutgers benefited from the slave economy and came to own the land it inhabits.

Today, I am proud to announce the publication of Scarlet and Black Volume 2: Constructing Race and Gender at Rutgers, 1865-1945, which provides new context for the lives of Rutgers’ first African American students, “the forerunner generation” to the Civil Rights era activists of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. The book is available at the Rutgers University Press website.

Scarlet and Black Volume 2 also highlights how these forerunners, and other African Americans living in and near New Brunswick, struggled due to a culture of racism often fostered by university trustees, faculty and students. As noted in the book’s epilogue, “only a very few of the forerunners of desegregation survived to see Rutgers become the diverse institution we take pride in today. Though largely invisible, the forerunners’ legacy lives on the Rutgers campuses.”

I invite you all to read this latest addition to the Scarlet and Black project, which reflects our commitment to diversity, inclusion, transparency, and excellence in scholarship and research, including our graduate school’s #1 ranking in African American history.

I also thank the Volume 2 team, which consisted of doctoral candidates and postdoctoral fellows led by Deborah Gray White, Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of History; Marisa Fuentes, Presidential Term Chair in African American History and associate professor of history and women’s and gender studies; and Kendra Boyd, an assistant professor of history at York University who, as a Ph.D. candidate in African American history at Rutgers, coauthored two chapters of Scarlet and Black Volume 1.

The university will celebrate the second volume’s publication on March 31 with a public event at the Rutgers Club.

Again, please join me in thanking the Scarlet and Black team for their excellent work in bringing to light the stories of these forerunners and how their struggles and accomplishments helped shape the Rutgers of today.


Christopher J. Molloy, Ph.D.
Chancellor, Rutgers University–New Brunswick